What will our tourism business students know after finishing Master’s Degree in Tourism Marketing and Management?

The second year of Tourism Marketing and Management programme is about to start soon. We had a successful first year, but that does not mean that we can stand down and relax. Our goal is to continuously develop our programme. Based on our Business School AACSB Accreditation membership, experiences from the first year, input from our advisory board and other stakeholders as well as our perceptions of what will be required from the experts of tourism business in the future, we have developed a new curriculum for the years 2018-2021.

We have two years with each of our students before they graduate and want to prepare them for the future as well as we can. Our mission is to make tourism better. We have about a dozen courses as well as our master’s thesis process to make sure our students are able to do all this. These are the skills and knowledge that we aim our students to have once they have graduated from our programme.

What kind of knowledge tourism business students have after graduation

  • Understand the role of research, data, and information when making decisions and plans in the tourism business
  • Understand the iterative nature of a research process
  • Understand the relevance of combining analytical and creative thinking throughout the research process
  • Identify and be aware of the good scientific practice
  • Understand theoretical perspectives on tourism, understand and evaluate the linkages of the central concepts related to tourism research (e.g. Theory, paradigm, model).
  • Understand the interdisciplinary nature of tourism research.
  • Understand and explain current issues and methods used in tourism research including a wide range of theories, approaches, and practices used in tourism research.
  • Analyze and identify potential research topics for future tourism studies based on current tourism literature.
  • Understand and explain the main theoretical concepts and theories of consumer behavior in the tourism context
  • Understand the powerful connection of customer insight and marketing activities in the context of tourism businesses
  • Analyze his/her own behavior as a tourist and develop his/her ability to behave in a responsible manner.
  • Understand, explain, criticize and develop destination strategies, missions, visions, and values.
  • Understand how the destination brand and image are built through communication, interaction and relationships in various marketing and communication channels.
  • Understand tourists’ destination choice process and frameworks and models connected to it.
  • Identify the central concepts in destination marketing research and apply them to practice.
  • Understand and explain the concepts of a tourist destination and destination competitiveness.
  • Distinguish the key stakeholders of a tourist destination and understand their role in destination development.
  • Distinguish between the concepts of destination governance, management, and leadership and understand the role of collaboration, competition, and coopetition in tourist destination context.
  • Understand the requirements of sustainability in the development of a  tourist destination.
  • Understand the environmental, economic and socio-cultural impacts of tourism in a destination.
  • Understand and explain the main theoretical concepts regarding service experience, tourist experience, and design of experiences, including experience theory, consumer value, customer involvement and product/service development
  • Explain and criticize main experiential theories and apply them to analyzing and interpreting consumer experiences
  • Understand the practical adaptations of the theories including consumer involvement process in service development
  • Understand the different ways how diverse service design tools can be applied and utilized
  • Understand the role of information technology as part of the tourism industry both from the customer as well as business perspective.
  • Know how to market and manage a tourism business in a digital world and understand central concepts, models, and frameworks connected to digital technologies.
  • Familiarity with risks and possibilities digital technologies create for tourism businesses and destinations.
  • A vision of how technologies will develop in the future and can adapt in the constantly transforming marketplace.
  • Understanding what is tourism research in practice.
  • Using theory as the base of tourism research.
  • Choosing research questions based on various research approaches.
  • Evaluating suitable methodological approaches to solve the chosen research questions.
  • Utilizing various research approaches to solve academic and practitioner problems.
  • Conducting tourism research ethically.
  • Understand the concepts, functions, and skills required for establishing a new tourism business
  • Understand the basic concepts and procedures of financial accounting
  • Understand the economic principles behind tourism business operations
  • Explain the determinants of profitability in tourism businesses, and how operational profit is generated
  • Explain the role of budgets and performance reports in planning and control
  • Understand the requirements of different kinds of legislation in the hospitality and tourism industry
  • Know central theoretical frameworks, models, and tools of tourism business and how to apply them in practice to develop the field and businesses in a sustainable way
  • Understand and explain a procedure of a marketing project
Tourism services at Etelä-Konnevesi
A typical day for Tourism Marketing and Management students

What kind of skills tourism business students have after graduation

  • Conduct analytical, methodologically reliable and practically valuable research to support decision-making processes in tourism businesses and academia.
  • Comply with the good scientific practice
  • Write a topic analysis and research plan with a literature review
  • Present their research in public
  • Argue and comment in a constructive manner
  • Identify, compare and explain the most common, current and timely research topics and approaches in tourism
  • Apply the principles of good scientific practices
  • Organize, synthesize, structure and outline scientific information
  • Reflect their own research topic and interest to existing research
  • Utilize the basic theories of tourist behavior in analyzing the customer behavior of a tourist destination and/or a tourism company
  • Utilize the customer insight information in planning and implementing marketing activities in tourism companies and destinations
  • Can act in a responsible manner as a tourist, and promote responsible behavior to other tourists and within tourism businesses
  • Is able to acquire and apply knowledge about future trends on tourism behavior
  • Collaboratively design and create a distinguishable and creative destination marketing plan and evaluate how realistic and suitable it is and implement the plan to practice.
  • Carry out multichannel destination marketing campaigns and work with creative agencies to promote a destination.
  • Assess and measure the effectiveness of marketing campaigns and actions as well as utilize data in making destination marketing decisions.
  • Identify critical destination resources and how those can be utilized in contemporary marketing.
  • Create and manage collaborative marketing campaigns and actions with various partners to develop destination marketing to international customers.
  • In collaboration analyse the tourist destination competitiveness.
  • Analyze the meaning and impact of different kinds of governance structures on the role of DMO and other stakeholders in the leadership of a destination.
  • Utilize the basic tools for analyzing the destination competitiveness.
  • Develop skills in operating in the ethical and responsible manner in relationships with stakeholders in a tourist destination.
  • Develop skills in analyzing the impacts of tourism in a destination.
  • Acquire and apply knowledge about future trends on tourism in destination context.
  • Apply a customer-oriented approach to product/service development in experience industry
  • Use diverse tools for experience design and evaluation of the consumer experience, and evaluate the suitability of diverse tools in different practical development cases
  • Analyse and interpret customer insight gained from the practical cases and compare the information with theoretical knowledge
  • Create in collaboration with peer students a practical experience design case, and reflect his/her own learning during the process
  • Assess the current state of digital business in an organization and create a plan to creatively develop it from the customer value perspective.
  • Run online marketing campaigns in various online channels and create business models and multi-channel strategies for tourism businesses and destinations.
  • Content marketer practices to communicate with different stakeholders and customers via digital technologies.
  • Use various online tools to develop digital business and customer experience.
  • Utilizing customer information search processes and data to create long-lasting and influential relationships with tourists through content marketing.
  • Experimenting and trying out different approaches to develop digital marketing and tourism business.
  • Search for, summarizing, and applying information from academic and industry sources to develop research.
  • Designing a research process.
  • Evaluating various data collection and analysis methods for quantitative and qualitative data.
  • Using data analysis software.
  • Write scientific text.
  • Write and formulate research reports for the industry.
  • Understand the principles of how to generate operational profit
  • Analyze and interpret financial information for both managerial purposes and the needs of outside stakeholders
  • Make a realistic business plan
  • Adapt marketing related theories and tools into practice
  • Plan, schedule, implement, report and monitor a tourism marketing related research or development project
  • Adjust to challenges of strict schedules and collaborative problem solution
  • Take and share responsibilities
  • Work in collaboration and according to the instructions of the client or other principal
  • Creatively suggest new innovative solutions

Study Tourism Business

If these sound like the skills and knowledge you would like to have, you should consider joining our Master’s Degree programme. We are constantly looking for people to make tourism better with us. You can apply to our programme every year around Christmas. For more information see details at http://www.uef.fi/web/tmm/tmm-in-a-nutshell

Review of the First Year of Tourism Marketing and Management Studies

It is summer and it means that the first year of our studies in our International Master’s Degree programme in Tourism Marketing and Management at the University of Eastern Finland is about to be finished. And what a year it has been! We have done and accomplished so much. Tourism Marketing and Management studies have proven to be innovative, useful and interesting, but there is still a lot to do to improve. Go on and read what is it like to study tourism business in our programme.

Tourism Marketing and Management studies can be a lot of fun!
TMM students and staff during the orientation week

Student feedback on Tourism Marketing and Management Studies

We collect continuous feedback from our students as well as stakeholders. We have an advisory board that consists of business representatives who ensure that our teaching corresponds to the needs of the industry. However, the most valuable feedback we get from our students. For the first year, we had a total of 20 students who are co-creating this learning experience with us. After each course, course-related feedback is collected. This feedback is used to develop individual courses. Once a year we also collect general feedback with a completely anonymous survey from our students. 14 students answered the survey and this is the feedback we got from 2017-2018 studies:

Tourism Studies Satisfaction
TMM student satisfaction results 2017-2018

From these results, it is obvious that our students would be quite likely to recommend our programme to other students, but we can also see that there is a lot to improve. Especially teaching methods need to be improved, and it is our top priority coming to the second year of studies. For us, the results show that we are doing things overall quite well, but we still need to improve in many ways.

We also asked for written, open feedback, and this is the feedback we received. We have not censored or edited the feedback in any way, but have responded to it on the right side column.

Student feedback Staff response
Perhaps focusing in a few themes instead of trying to include everything in the studies. I have enjoyed the atmosphere though and hope the connection between students and teachers remain close. Indeed, our programme is quite ambitious, to say the least. Students need to work quite hard and learning goals have been set high. We definitely need to prioritize our learning goals better and have clearer focus on courses and the whole programme on what we want to achieve.
More info on flipped learning at the beginning, before using it as a teaching method. Emphasis on reserving time in calendar besides contact lectures, maybe have an assignment where that is practiced. Having all tasks and their due dates available at the beginning of the course, so that there are no surprises afterwards about extra tasks along the way. Our studies start now with 2 ECTS Introduction course that has enough time to discuss the teaching methods we use and how we are expecting the studies to be completed. During the first year we had to partially build the courses as we advanced, but for the second year, the situation should be better as a majority of the materials and assignments are now ready.
In some courses, whole course was based on group work. To me, better if half of the work is at least individual task. For group work, better if the teacher makes the group randomly, so there is opportunity to work with every classmates and learn from everyone. We do emphasize working as teams in our programme quite a lot. However, we understand that the grade should not be completely dependent on how other people work.

For the next year, we will always randomize the groups to make sure that our students get to know each other better and have different teamwork experiences.

I have done everything to my best ability. I notice in some courses I could have done a better job.  For the future, I suggest the programme staff to be more aware of what is going on with the students’ workload and not placing deadlines in the same times. Trying new teaching methods is good but make sure to also inform the students about all the changes. We have already planned the second year schedule so that assignment deadlines are visible for everyone and that there is not too much overlap between assignments and deadlines. We will also go through the timetable for the year during the Introduction course.
There’s nothing much to add for the topics we’ve already discussed during the year. Schedule should be planned better, instructions for assignments should be clearer right at the beginning, dead-lines should walk better hand-in-hand with other courses and flipped learning method needs to be open up for students beforehand. This feedback summarizes well earlier comments and these are definitely the issues that we have and will be paying more attention to.
Group work was not working very well (most of the times), it was more like split the task and everybody take care just their own part. Nearly every group somebody was complaining, lacking interest etc. Better to work with pairs or max 3 people in a group.   You can learn by yourself a lot but when students are not at the same level of previous knowledge or share the same interests, you need a teacher to tell the basics and give quidance in tasks.  There is a lot of material in Moodle, so I can continue learning by myself and I will. Flipped learning method was working well in Experience design course and you should use it in the future, too. Tourist behavior course content was excellent. Tasks in IT course were good and educational.  I was hoping to here more about the future of tourism industry from the business perspective. We should have our own course about the leadership in tourism firms, the other Uni courses do no help much. The other marketing and business courses in Uni are mostly online courses or not very interesting ones. Comparing the other courses in Uni our own were excellent, so keep up the good work! The goal of group work is to give our students a possibility to openly discuss topics and work genuinely together, increasing the skills and knowledge for everyone on the team. Doing group work by partitioning it for every student does not really advance this goal. In the work life however, it is common to do group work in a way that everyone does his or her part and then the combined work is reviewed together. Probably smaller groups would work better in any case and we will pay attention that a wide variety of different kinds of teams is used during various courses we have.

Leadership in tourism is something that we will supplement with additional courses. This year we had Dr. Teresa Aguiar Quintana from University of Las Palmas to teach the topic in a supplementary course and hope to continue this in the future.

This was a pilot year, so a bit more organized approach. Maybe to evaluate a bit more closely the starting level of students skills. But not to lower the expectation level of these studies rather expect some bridge studies if needed.  Positive: Diverse learning methods, flexibility, focus on learning (not executing the program), connecting academics to practical business reality, focus on current and future (not only old theories), all professors have a different style to teach which I found good. The starting level of our students vary quite a bit and it is a constant challenge for us. We will be thinking about the application criteria so that the students should be more similar with their starting level. A bachelor’s degree in business studies such as marketing or management should provide a solid background for our studies and knowledge about tourism business is definitely a great thing to have. However, it is also a fact that some students need to study more than some another because we aim that all the students graduating from our programme match our knowledge and skill goals.

The academic year 2017-2018 in numbers

How did the first year in Tourism Marketing and Management studies succeed in numbers? Altogether 20 students started their studies in the Autumn semester of 2017. We have one full-time staff and two working with the studies in part-time. Professor Jamie Murphy has been a great assistance to us and he spent the Autumn with us in Joensuu starting up the programme. We are also happy to welcome him in Autumn 2018! We also had three other international guest professors visiting us and giving our students courses on their own expert topics. Besides that, we had dozens of businesses, destination staff, and other guest lecturers providing insights on Tourism Marketing and Management to our students.

Our students managed to study 1175 ECTS credits with an average of 58,75 ECTS and median of 64. We clearly surpassed the goal of 55 ECTS per year on average, so well done to all our students!

For the 2018 studies, we had 119 applicants, a growth of nearly 100 percent from 2017. The programme is becoming quite popular! Our mission of making tourism better resonates all over the planet and we have had applications from all over the world. Our website www.uef.fi/tmm has visitors from more than 100 countries with at least a dozen visitors from 50 countries just during the past year.

During the past year, our blog www.tourismmarketingandmanagement.com has been visited 4582 times. The most popular student-written blog post was from Lari Turunen, who discussed the most common problem in destination marketing.

Our students have been updating our Instagram to show how it is like to study Tourism Marketing and Management in Joensuu, Finland. The new students will start to update the account this fall. Looking at the Instagram feed, the year has not been just about studying, but a lot of fun has been had. Our Facebook page has almost 2000 likes and it is by far the best way to keep up with what is happening with the programme.

What will be happening in academic year 2018-2019 in Tourism Marketing and Management?

Our second student group will be starting their studies in September 2018. We are working now to develop the courses for the next year to make the learning experience even better. We have great collaborations and guest lecturers planned and many fantastic cases to test our skills in the real world.

It will also be an exciting year as our first students start to graduate. Many of them are now writing their master’s thesis and we have extremely interesting studies coming up during the next academic year!

We will start looking for new students again sometime in November for studies starting in September 2019. If you want to be kept up to date with the application process, sign up for our newsletter.

Study tourism business at UEF: Master’s Degree Programme in Tourism Marketing and Management

There are dozens of reasons why you should study Tourism Marketing and Management at University of Eastern Finland. Here are 16 top reasons to study with us:

  1. High quality studies

We aim to keep the quality of our studies high. Our studies are not the easiest; there are no free credits but a lot to learn. You will have to work hard, but when you work, you can be sure that the things you learn really matter after your graduation. We are using innovative teaching methods that inspire and motivate you to give 100 % to the programme and to develop your skills and career.

  1. Focus on students

We value every student who applies for our programme. This degree programme would not exist without you students. We constantly listen to what you have to say, have a large number of feedback channels and methods and act accordingly to the feedback we receive. We take good care of our students, keep track of how their studies are progressing and help them to learn what is required and get their degree.

Travel and tourism studies
Studying tourism
  1. Co-operation with destinations and tourism companies

We are networked with various destinations and tourism businesses in Finland. Our network makes it possible for us to knit our courses to real-life business goals. All our courses programme courses have business partners and actual business case studies that we use to test what you have learned and deepen your knowledge on what is required after you have received your degree. Our programme is supervised by an industry advisory board that ensures that the skills and knowledge in our programme is up to date and relevant.

See our advisory board and partners.

  1. Academic research

Our programme has a strong research focus. Right from the start, you will start to familiarize yourself with academic research and prepare for writing a master’s thesis. Thinking that is required to do academic research is similar to the line of thinking that businesses value. We need to be critical of information we receive, understand the meaning of it for business practices and try to find new approaches to marketing and management.

See our research here.

  1. Unique focus topics

Wellbeing, nature tourism, sustainable tourism and technologies are all globally trending topics and form a strong and unique focus for our programme. This profiling should also be reflected on our students who are interested in the outdoors, wellbeing of people and planet and enthusiastic about new technologies. We do not train hotel managers or hospitality professionals but focus on developing tourism business in destination management organizations, tourism businesses and in public sector.

  1. High ranking university, internationally recognized

UEF is among top 50 of World’s Top Young Universities and within the top 500 of all world’s universities. We are internationally recognized research university that aims to solve global problems. See our rankings at http://www.uef.fi/en/web/guest/uef/international-rankings and university strategy at http://www.uef.fi/en/web/guest/uef/strategy

  1. Finland and Finnish education system

Finnish education system is world-renowned and our national higher education system is the 6th best in the world (http://www.universitas21.com/article/projects/details/152/u21-ranking-of-national-higher-education-systems-2017). Finland is one of the best countries in the world to live in (rank 21 http://hdr.undp.org/sites/default/files/2016_human_development_report.pdf) and safest country on the planet. Finland is also rapidly increasing in popularity among international tourists. With its four seasons, living in Finland can be an exotic experience. For more information about Finnish education system visit http://minedu.fi/en/education-system

  1. Student satisfaction

Finland and UEF are not world leaders when it comes to the number of international students we receive. However, the students who do come to Finland, tend to be extremely satisfied with their choice: https://www.studyportals.com/intelligence/international-student-satisfaction/international-student-satisfaction-awards-2016/.

  1. Flipped learning

One of the innovative teaching methods we use is Flipped learning. We do not believe that centuries old method of lecturing in front of the class when students listen is the most efficient way of teaching things. Most of our courses are utilizing flipped learning methodology where the traditional roles of lectures and homework are reversed. This means that learning is flexible and happens mostly online with material prepared by the teacher. We focus on learning, not just that you have to get credits and pass through courses. We do not have many exams but learning is measured with various tasks and team works. You will not submit essays and assignments only for the lecturer to read but will be producing valuable social media content right from the beginning to benefit the whole industry as well as the programme.

Learn more about flipped learning.

  1. Small, tight knit and relaxed group

We have a common goal, to make our programme better known. The TMM staff and students are more like colleagues than students and professors. There are only four people working in the programme so you will get to know them well before you get your degree. We encourage our students to co-create learning and do things together. We only accept around 15 new students each year; finishing our programme is a team effort. Teams and networks are increasingly important in modern work life and we provide our students tools and skills to be a productive team member.

  1. City of Joensuu

Our programme is based in a small city in Eastern Finland called Joensuu. We think that Joensuu is a perfectly sized city; it has everything you need but is surrounded by nature from all sides. It has good train and air connections to Helsinki from where you can continue anywhere in the world.

Visit Joensuu and Karelia Expert websites for more information.

  1. Career for the future

Work life is changing. Technological development in artificial intelligence and robotics are affecting how we work in the future. Many of the jobs people will work in in 2030 do not exist yet. Still at least for some time creativity and innovativeness will be the strengths of the human mind. We will train your mind to be useful for various development tasks in the tourism industry and provide insights how you can keep your skills relevant in the decades to come.

  1. Learning environment

UEF aims to provide its students the best academic learning environment in Finland. We have identified the development of our learning environments as one of our most important goals. The best academic learning environment in Finland is built around innovative teaching methods, research-based education, diverse use of facilities, and transparency.

Under the lead of our motivated teachers, we are creating a new culture of teaching. The teaching we offer is of a high standard and based on the latest research findings, enabling us to train professionals for the needs of the rapidly changing working life. We support this process by renewing our campus facilities with flexibility, inspiration and technology in mind.

At UEF, we want to create a culture of open science and technology that enables seamless collaboration between our students’ own devices and the devices and technology provided by the university.

From day one, we want to make our students feel welcome as new members of the scientific community. We invest in supporting flexible study paths, and to this end, we have created a new digital environment, Kamu, for our students.  Our work to develop our learning environments is rooted in student-centeredness. Together, we are building a university of tomorrow.

https://www.uef.fi/en/learning-environments

  1. Doctoral studies

For successful students we provide opportunities to continue their education with doctoral studies. Our doctoral students have opportunities to work in the department in various research and development projects and have wide selections of courses available for their studies. Doctoral studies are free for those accepted for the programme and we even have a few paid positions available.

  1. Costs and scholarship

Our programme is free for European and Finnish students. For students coming from outside EU/ETA region the annual study fee is 8000 €. We provide the best international applicant’s 80 % to 100 % scholarships for our programme. Studying in Joensuu is also cheaper than in metropolitan cities as living costs are lower.

  1. We make tourism better

We are not only educating tourism professionals of the future but we aim to have a wider impact on tourism. Our goal is to make tourism better through our actions and through our students who will work in the industry. Better for local people, better for tourists better for planet and better for tourism research and tourism industry.

Click here to see how to apply for the programme.

Apply now for International Master’s Degree Programme in Tourism Marketing and Management

Are you interested in studying tourism? Do you want a career in tourism business? Apply now for Master’s Degree in Tourism Marketing and Management. Application period is open until January 13th 2017.

Picture by Karelia Expert

Application period for the programme at University of Eastern Finland is now open and you can apply for the programme through our website at www.uef.fi/tmm or directly from StudyInfo website https://studyinfo.fi/app/#!/korkeakoulu/1.2.246.562.17.58832491748 (Fill in application button is on the right hand side of the screen).

This is our application process:

1. All available study programmes in Finland can be found on the Studyinfo portal (www.studyinfo.fi) where you can search for suitable programmes and start the application. The online application is only open during the application period, so make sure you know when the application period starts. Once you have found a programme you wish to apply to, find out what the admissions requirements are.
2. Collect the required application documents. Information concerning the documents you need for admissions is provided by the university/programme you are applying to and the Studyinfo portal. The list of required documents is also on the online application. Please note that each application must have its own set of requested application documents.
3. Please send all of your documents to the University Admissions Finland’s office by mail. Your application documents have to arrive by the given deadline. E-mail attachments will not be accepted. UAF does not process application documents that have arrived after the deadline.
4. University Admissions Finland processes all documents according to the same processing procedures. Documents are processed in two steps, both of which your application documents must pass:
a. We will verify your language skills and check that they meet the requirements set by the university.
b. We will check that all of your required educational documents have arrived and then we will verify your credentials.

For more information see our university application page at http://www.uef.fi/en/web/admissions/how-to-apply- and detailed process at University Admissions website HERE.

We have now been intensively planning the programme and it will be absolutely fantastic. We have a huge number of industry partners lined up for the programme, so many interesting topics to discuss and study, innovative teaching methods, and all the tools you need to build yourself a career in evergrowing tourism business.

Let us know if there is anything we can help you with and good luck with your application!
Juho Pesonen (juho.pesonen[at]uef.fi)
Raija Komppula
Henna Konu